Today is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Evan’s funeral and burial was on March 1st which was Mardi Gras last year, so I suppose I ought to have been prepared for the tsunami of grief that would topple me this morning.
“Our God is a saving God; he, the Lord, holds the keys of death.” (today’s 2nd antiphon for Office of Readings) It’s strange to me that I awoke singing a hymn of praise this morning, yet, only minutes later, when confronted with reading aloud this antiphon, tears and sobs ensued.
After I mostly composed myself Doug and I completed our remaining prayers, he soon went to work demolishing walls for our house remodel while I turned to my journal.
I wrote about the disconnect in my mind between a merciful, loving, gracious God and the violent, graphic language of the Psalm we had just read. I wrote about the assumptions that so many people make about grief and I wrote about the gaping hole that nothing can fill in Evan’s absence.
Then I texted my friend who walks this journey ahead of me. She knows both the blessing of being with her own grandchildren and the truth that nobody, not your other grown children, not a houseful of grandchildren, not even Evan’s precious little namesake, EvanMarie, can satisfy this mother’s yearning for her son’s voice, for his hugs and laughter and unrepeatable presence on planet earth.
I also shared with her that we’ll be celebrating 15 year old Avila’s Confirmation and EvanMarie’s Baptism on Saturday. Her response rings true.
I do understand these tsunami waves that knock us down. I will pray that the joy that lies ahead for you on Saturday—two sacraments celebrated at once—will lift you up. This is how the nearness and dearness of our families work in our healing. It is not so much that you must pull yourself together when grief visits you. Rather, the love of your family and the joy of sacramental celebration will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Grace will raise you up.🙏❤️ – Gayle Somers
. . . I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.2 Timothy 1: 12